Marija Butkovic: Co-Founder of WhoHacks #CroatianStartupKid

WhoHack team

What is your name?  Marija Butkovic

Age: 32


Social media: Facebook  @WhoHack

Name and Elevator Pitch on your business:   WhoHack – helps developers/designers/non-tech people and companies find their perfect business match through unique and amazing hackathons. In WhoHack, we believe that recruiting momentum that happens during our exciting, egzotic and prize-rich hackathons shouldn’t be just an added benefit, but one of the purposes we organised a hackathon in the first place. During the hackathon you see what people can actually do, rather than what they are saying in an interview. Hackathons create a radically better and more transparent career search experience for candidates, but also fundamentally change recruiting by successfully shortening the time-to-hire and maximising efficiency for companies. It is a solution for all people in tech industry, not only developers, because we believe that everyone can be a valuable part of the hack team. Hackathon teams should be blend with tech and business talent so that the hacks created are more likely to speak to all aspects of the business.

What are your plans for the next 3 months? We are currently organising first ever 3-day international hackathon on a ship! Location: Croatian coast, Date: May 2015, Number of attendees – 100+. 

Do you have a day job? If so what is it?  I freelance as a tech journalist and startup legal consultant.

What are your plans for it for the next 5 years?  Organise more egsotic hackathons and create communities around them, especially when it comes engaging more women, not only those who code but all women who want to find their place in tech industry.

What do you wish you had known before you started? The only person who will support yourself every time you need it, is – you. And when it comes to success – there are no shortcuts. Everything can be achieved with great team and a lot of hard work.

What has been your biggest highlight? I truly believe our biggest highlight is yet to come. But creating communities around hackathons and helping Croatian startup community grow has been a really amazing for us. I’ve

What is your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge was to move from corporate legal world to startup world. In October 2014 I’ve moved from Croatia to London, which was also a major challenge, because you change not only state where you live, but business and cultural environment as well. When we speak about challenges within WhoHack, the biggest one would be to successfully organise our next hackathon on a ship and afterwards organising hack days on even more egsotic locations – like plain or even in space. That would be a true challenge indeed!

Who inspires you the most? Amazing women I’ve met during my own professional journey, those who manage to be great wifes, mothers, business women, and still remain simple, approachable and strong. Every time I see a girl who came to one of our hackathons I’m full of joy, because it’s proof that we are fulfilling our mission.

What tools and resources would you recommend? Trello is an amazing toll for everyday work for my team, we love it. Slack has proved to be amazing as well. 

If you could leave one legacy to the world. What would it be and why? It would be great if women could participate more in tech industry in general. In WhoHack, our mission is to empower and encourage them to take part in hackathons and prove not only that there are plenty of women who know how to code, but who can contribute in hackathons as online marketers, business developers, product managers, etc.

What does a #startupkid mean to you?  I can recognise myself in #startupkid in so many ways. Last couple of years I’ve been involved in many projects, besides my daily job. All of these project have something to do with tech world and startups, from being a startup mentor in one of Croatian startup incubators, freelancing as a tech journalist or cofounding WhoHack. And I just love Sam Conniff’s manifesto, it perfectly describes the essence of all those curios people who want to make an impact, build amazing things and change the world.

What one piece of advice would you give to #startupkids? Never stop asking questions, especially “Why?”. Learn, travel, explore, create, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Mistake is just another way of learning something new.